Pope Francis on Corpus Christi:

Pope Francis said on Sunday that we need to “expand our hearts” to truly appreciate the gift of the Eucharist.

During the celebration of Corpus Christi Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 6th, the Pope noticed that Jesus had instituted the Eucharist in the great upper room in Jerusalem.

He said, “We need to enlarge our hearts. We have to break out of the small space of our ego and enter the vast expanse of wonder and adoration. “

/ Screenshot from the Vatican News YouTube channel.

The Pope complained that this attitude of worship was lacking in “so many movements” in the Church.

“But when that is lacking, when there is no wonder and adoration, there is no way that leads to the Lord. There will be no synod, nothing, ”he said.

“That is the attitude before the Eucharist, that is what we need: adoration. The church must also be a large space. Not a small and closed circle, but a community with open arms that welcomes everyone. “

He continued: “Let us ask ourselves this when someone approaches who is hurt, who has made a mistake, who is lost in life: Is the church, this church, a great space to receive this person and him or her to lead them into the world? Joy at the encounter with Christ? “

“The Eucharist wants to nourish those who are tired and hungry on the way, let’s not forget that! A church of the pure and perfect is a space with no room for anyone; The church with open doors, which gathers and celebrates around Christ, is instead a great hall into which everyone – everyone, righteous and sinners – can enter. “

/ Screenshot from the Vatican News YouTube channel.

Pope Francis also dedicated his Angelus address on Sunday to the feast of Corpus Christi, which is celebrated on Thursday in the Vatican, but celebrated on Sunday in Italy and other countries.

The Pope celebrated the live stream mass for the solemnity of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ at the altar of the see. Due to the ongoing corona restrictions, only a few people took part. They wore face covers and sat at a distance from each other.

Before the gospel reading, the choir sang the sequence “Lauda Sion”, which St. Thomas Aquinas wrote at the request of Pope Urban IV for the new mass on the feast of Corpus Christi.

“Lauda Sion” is one of four sequences in the Roman Missal, along with “Paschal Victim”, which is sung at Easter, “I came Holy Spirit” at Pentecost and “Day of Wrath” at the funeral mass.

In his homily the Pope reflected on three images of the Gospel reading. The first was that of the man carrying a jug of water.

“Jesus tells his disciples that the Passover meal can be eaten wherever a man with a jug of water leads them. Therefore, in order to celebrate the Eucharist, we must first recognize our thirst for God, feel our need for him, long for his presence and love, in order to realize that we cannot walk alone, but the food and drink of eternal life need to support us on our way, ”he said.

“The drama of today is that this thirst is less and less noticeable. Questions about God are no longer asked, the longing for God has faded, seekers of God are becoming less and less common. God no longer attracts us because we no longer acknowledge our deep thirst for him. “

The Pope continued: “Our thirst for God leads us to the altar. Where this thirst is absent, our celebrations become dry and lifeless. So even as a church, it is not enough for the usual small group to meet to celebrate the Eucharist; We have to go into town, meet people and learn to recognize and revive their thirst for God and their longing for the gospel. “

/ Screenshot from the Vatican News YouTube channel.

The second picture, he said, is that of the spacious Upper Room, which challenges us to expand our hearts.

The third and final picture from the Gospel reading was of Jesus breaking bread.

“In the Eucharist we contemplate and venerate the God of love. The Lord who breaks no one and yet lets himself be broken. The Lord who does not ask for sacrifices, but sacrifices himself. The Lord who asks nothing, but gives everything, ”he said.

“When we celebrate and experience the Eucharist, we too are called to share in this love. Because we cannot break bread on Sunday when our hearts are closed to our brothers and sisters. We cannot eat this bread if we do not give bread to the hungry. We cannot share this bread unless we share the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in need. “

“At the end and also at the end of our solemn Eucharistic liturgies, only love will remain. Our Eucharistic celebrations are already changing the world to the extent that we transform ourselves and allow bread to be broken for others. “

At the end of the mass there was an extended adoration of the Holy of Holies, followed by a blessing.

/ Screenshot from the Vatican News YouTube channel.

In his sermon, the Pope stated that because of the coronavirus measures, he was unable to lead a procession with the Blessed Sacrament on the Feast of Corpus Christi for the second time in a row.

Processions, he said, reminded us that we are called to go out and take Jesus to others.

“May we become a church with a jug in hand, a church that stirs thirst and brings water. Let us open our hearts wide in love so that we can be the great and welcoming space in which everyone can enter and meet the Lord, ”he urged.